Airdrie Storm win season opener
A dominant performance by a veteran running back helped the Airdrie Storm open the 2012 season with a victory. Jordan Baldwin recorded all but one touchdown during the team’s 70-56 win over the Calgary Mavericks, Aug. 27.
Storm Head Coach Steve Kemp said he’d never before seen a player have such a successful game.
“He had a great game, but he’d be the first to tell you that he can’t take all the credit,” said Kemp. “The offence opened up really big holes for him. He had a great day running hard and using his speed, but the rest of the offence was executing and helping him get free.”
Baldwin was quick to credit his teammates for helping him record nine touchdowns, including linemate Keenan Maxwell, who scored for the Storm late in the fourth quarter.
“I couldn’t have done it without (the offence),” Baldwin said. “(Maxwell’s) a very good runner as well. We work really well as a team.”
The 15-year-old is a third-year player with the Storm and has grown into one of the team’s leaders.
He may not be one of the most vocal players on the field, but Kemp said his effort and impressive talent have allowed him to become one of the guiding forces for the new players.
This year, the Storm’s offence is a good mix of rookies and veterans while the defence is a younger group. After giving up 56 points to the Mavericks, Kemp said there is work to be done on defence and growing pains to iron out.
“It’s almost a complete turnover on defence, so with a lot of new guys, it’ll be a lot of adjustments,” he said. “We’ll get it fixed. We’re taking big steps everyday in practice and that’s all we can ask of them. We’re still pretty young there.”
After going 1-7 last season, the win against Calgary was a welcome one for Kemp and the Storm. The team has only won its season opener four other times in 12 years and is hoping it translates into the team’s first winning season since 1999.
“You always love to win right out of the gate and practices will be fun,” Kemp said. “We’ll keep striving and trying to get better. It’s a big load off the shoulders when you get that confidence and get the ball rolling. Now, we can show what we’re all about.”